It’s everywhere. They are hanging on Christmas trees, sitting in a bowl at your bank teller’s window, and lining the walls of pharmacies and grocery stores all over. We are of course talking about candy canes. While they are delicious, dentists here in Tampa want to make sure you know some facts. Peppermints are a bit deceiving. You may think they are harmless because they leave you with a fresh minty taste. If your mouth feels clean, then it must be, right? Wrong, most peppermints are actually just pure sugar. Our dentists here in Tampa want you to think about your teeth next time you celebrate with a candy cane.

Sugar and Cavities
Bacteria feed off of sugar. This causes plaque to stick to your teeth, which is bad for you. The acid produced from this plaque will erode your enamel. This weakens your teeth and will eventually lead to cavities. Visit our dentists in Tampa to make sure your teeth are strong and healthy.

Healthier Alternatives
It really isn’t the end of the world if you are enjoying a holiday treat here or there. But, there are healthier ways to freshen your breath. The first is a no-brainer, brush your teeth. However, you aren’t always going to be around a toothbrush. Whether you are out holiday shopping or visiting family, you need a good alternative. Try using sugar free mints! They will have a much less harmful impact on those pearly whites of yours.

Here is a fun fact that may be to your liking candy cane lovers. If you crave that peppermint flavor have no fear. Peppermint gum is actually a better choice. Sugar free gum may actually benefit your oral hygiene. Here is why: chewing after a meal, typically chewing for up to 30 minutes after, stimulates saliva production that removes sugars, acid, and morsels of food. One of the ingredients found in sugar free gum, xylitol, can actually help fight against cavities from forming. It’s a great, natural product made from plants. Chewing sugar free gum has great oral care benefits. What a great gift for the season!

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